On March 21, 2014 I went to probably one of the greatest events that I have ever been to in my life. It has taken me a whole week to write it because honestly, it is still a surreal experience for me. This is something that Fat Kallai would have never done. This is something that I would never allow myself to do because “I am a mom and I put everyone first before me”. There are a few times in my life where I could say that I was star struck. I thought I would have been this time too, but I felt like I was going to my friend’s gym to hang out and learn a few things. When I met Dana Linn Bailey and her husband Rob Bailey at The Arnold Classic in Ohio, they both looked exhausted, happy, grateful and humble. One may question how you can be four emotions at once, but they do it. In 2013, Rob started the Flag Nor Fail Company and since then, him and his wife have built an empire and keep pushing each day to take over the fitness industry (which they will). It is just an added bonus that DLB decided to bust her ass over the last 10 years to create her body as a masterpiece naturally to win the FIRST EVER 2013 Ms. Physique Olympia. The weekend was not about going to “see some celebrities” or “Getting the chance to work out with a celebrity”. The weekend was built to learn from her and Rob, and walk away with a multitude of knowledge on how to do this show thing right. I learned all of that beyond more than I ever could have imagined about myself that weekend.
I work a 9-5 job Monday through Friday. I haven’t always had it that way. I would usually work crazy weekends, doubles on Saturday and Sunday just to put food on my table for my daughter. Graciously, I busted ass and finished college to get a job that gives me weekends off and vacation days to take long weekends. This weekend was one of those times that I left right after work to go to the amazing Addie’s house (Fit.Fat.Fut) and have a girls night. Addie has helped me create a platform for me to build myself on. I am beyond blessed to have her as a friend and a road trip buddy. Friday morning we got up and crushed legs (probably not the wisest idea for a 10hour car ride ahead of us) and dropped her little boy off to daycare. Going to pick up the car, Addie got us a heck of a deal and we were all set to jump on the road at 9 as planned, or so we thought. Now, I have learned that when I usually travel, things ideally get in the way to make them less than easy, so I anticipate the same for this weekend and TADA it did. What Enterprise doesn’t tell you is that if you have a bank credit /debit card and you have your hard earned earnings in there and you aren’t charging it to a flake credit card where you probably are not going to pay your monthly bill, that you have to provide them with a pay stub AND what they also don’t tell you is that if you have recently moved and are too busy being a bad ass and can’t get to the secretary of state, you can’t rent a car. BUT since your bestie can access her pay stubs online, print that bad boy off, and now the car is in my name and the guy likes to make mindless chatter, you instantly become less than nice to get your asses on the road. Some people just don’t understand that DLB doesn’t wait. Move your ass, sir.
Let me just back up to the part where Thursday morning I started getting a really bad head cold, and I was trying to put Airborne in my system to mask it but it just wasn’t happening. Thursday night, we made a trip to Wal-Mart for some more meds which turned out to be a waste of money.
On the road, we didn’t realize we had toll roads. Toll roads, we Michiganders hate you with every ounce of our being, you’re welcome. We also had the distinct pleasure of having 34 miles left to go and 22 miles until our exit, no bigs, we don’t panic…..well, maybe a little. We arrived at a very nice Days Inn and treated ourselves to Chipotle. If no one knows yet, Chipotle is a very nice alternative to eating out but still eating what is on your meal plan. That crap is just down right addictive. The rest of the girls that I have been following on Instagram and Facebook also arrived but were staying at a different hotel with some new ladies I haven’t followed before.
Thank goodness while we were out getting chipotle, we bought tissues and a set of new medicine (the stuff actually worked) because by the next morning I was feeling great. I won’t lie right now, after we ate and got the medicine, we drove past Warhouse and contemplated stopping in, but we didn’t want to be “those girls” or ya know, get arrested.
The next morning was THE DAY! Arriving at the Warhouse, I didn’t know what to expect. Walking in, were nothing but smiles and wonderful people greeting everyone in line, discussing what to do and where to go. The second we paid out entry fee, we received a 1st Phorm backpack, water bottle, protein powder, T-shirt, shaker cup. Additionally we received two goodie drawstring bags filled with Liquid SunRayz chapsticks, and Metabolic Nutrition t-shirt and supplements. That was just when we got in the door. Signing the release, we received a ticket to go put in a goodie box. Let me just tangent here. I have wanted a six pack bag for a very long time. I can’t ever afford to drop that kind of money on it because I find something else that my daughter needs/wants instead. When I got the ticket, I saw that one of the prizes was a six pack bag; I took my chances and put my ticket in there. Since the camp didn’t start until 10am, we had time to mingle at the vendors which included Muscle Egg (the rep is from Detroit- Represent!), Quest Bar Nutrition, Musclicious Foods, Metabolic Nutrition, BSN, and Evolution Station. In those things that I listed, there is not one vendor that was not the nicest, most caring, genuine person there. Musclicious foods are high on life and they work very hard to provide the best protein pudding on the face of the planet, and I HATE PUDDING!! I told the gentleman that and he insisted I try it, after doing so, I am hooked. 10am seemed like it took forever and playing with Dana and Rob’s puppies was ending. Let me just tell you that Dana and Rob’s fur kids are adorable and so kind to everyone.
There was so much passion and so much information divulged from Dana and Rob’s history, Guy Cisterino’s history that if I described everything in my notebook, you wouldn’t have to go to a camp, and well we can’t have that. So go, I will be expecting a thank you card. Dana is so passionate in what she does and she does it to the best of her ability (bad assery at its finest). Rob fucking Bailey. This man is nothing short of a genius. After getting burned, he decided to flip the table and build an empire, and with who better than his wife. Getting choked up over whom she is, why she does what she does, and he protecting her every step of the way tells me one thing: They work from the heart. They work from the heart because when you work from your mind, you are in it for the money and not of the passion of what you do.
What better people to feed us then a fellow fitness enthusiast trying to get a health catering business off the ground. We had lovely stuffed peppers with rice of course and salad. Following that was prize give away for those tickets that we put in when we walked in the door. I will preface with this and say I am not a “lucky” person; I don’t win shit, until today. The first number he called for the six-pack bags was mine, all mine. AND, AND ANNNNND it was pink like the one I have been eyeing for about 6 months. If there weren’t people around, I would have started crying. I am so very grateful that both DLB and Rob took the time to sign it for me. Humbled and grateful.
Guy Cisterino and DLB took us to the gym side of the Warhouse and went through each body part, took the time to show us tips and tricks, then answered any questions anyone would have. It was not a half assed demonstration, we weren’t pressed for time, and it was all on relevance of what they do every day of their life. Guy even gave DLB some tips that she took mental note of. We are all human and we learn and grow from each other and our experiences and DLB learning from Guy just shadows that.
Open training was where we could use the equipment but the girls took the opportunity to do some posing with DLB. Yep, you read that right, if you need to re-read that, I’ll Wait. What an honor. To be taught by this amazing lady on how to stand, take away the claw hand (still working on that), and just be so grateful for her taking the time to look at everyone standing before her.
Packing up, we chit chatted with DLB and she reminded me why I do what I do. Why I love fitness and how to keep going. She looked tired, worn out and ready for bed BUT she was also making friendships and taking the time with each person that took the time to come there. Walking out the door and stopping to chat to Rob was probably the best decision I have made in a while.
There is something about this man who lurks in the shadows of his famous wife, to give her the things she needs. Sure, he is known for creating the best clothing empire on the planet (thank you for having the epiphany) but he is so much more. He is the clock that keeps ticking when everyone is sleeping. He is a smart business man and knows how to create his own worth. He has a passion, a drive, and a heart that keeps him moving forward. He gets it. He gets it when I feel like ass at 4:30am and would rather sleep than bust a gym sesh. He gets it when I hear him screaming at me in my ear buds “You’re bigger than this, you’re better than this”. Most importantly, he gets that now is the time for all of us to just do whatever we have always wanted and take no prisoners. He whole heartedly thanked me and Addie from the bottom of his heart and I could see in his eyes how blessed he knows he is. The best part was talking about his employee issues and me assuring him that is he wants to give me a chance, I can employ some bad ass people who are ready to work! (You should remember this conversation Rob!)
This experience was so much more for me, and I will spare you the tears so I don’t short out my keyboard BUT now. Now is the time where I create MY worth. Whether it is Rob screaming/singing to me every single morning on repeat or DLB reminding me with her Facebook videos when I need motivation. These two are in my corner to help me succeed. Thank you so much for the trip of a lifetime. Thank you to Addie for going with me. I am planning on going this summer. Work. Hustle. Kill.